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4 driving tips for the 4th of July

The most dangerous day of the year to be on the road in Maryland isn't New Year's -- it's the Fourth of July. There are several reasons for this, including the prevalence of alcohol and the fact that many people are driving at night after fireworks. Compounding this danger is the fact that a record number of Marylanders are expected to travel this year -- nearly one million people, most of whom will be driving. That's an incredible burden on the roads and a unique safety risk. Following these simple tips will keep you and your family safe on this driving-intensive holiday.

1. Follow Basic Safety Guidelines

Times of heavy travel make basic safety guidelines even more important. Not drinking and driving, wearing seat belts and staying under the speed limit will make the roads safer for everyone. If you're a motorcyclist, be sure to wear your helmet.

2. Stay Focused On The Road

Distracted driving is one of the main causes of car accidents, which only increases with pedestrian traffic and neighborhood fireworks displays. Use extra caution and keep your eyes and mind on the road.

3. Review Driving Directions

Fourth of July travel often involves driving places you don't ordinarily drive, so be sure to review directions ahead of time. Even if you're using GPS, this can be an unneeded distraction while in the car, so have a passenger navigate if possible.

4. Get Some Sleep

Late-night travel is a complicating risk factor around the Fourth, so make sure that you're rested while driving on dark, congested roads.

Holiday travel is fun, but it also brings added safety concerns. By following these simple tips, you'll be all set to enjoy yourselves and dig into summer.

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